Here you will find art news and some of my recent engagements.
December 6, 2018
Make the Short Trip to Kingston. It’s Worth It.
Kingston, Ontario’s very own Agnes Etherington Art Centre has put together a remarkable exhibition of Modern Canadian art. “In The Present: The Zacks Gift of 1962” features beautiful examples of Quebec abstract painters Marcelle Ferron, Lise Gervais, Jean Paul Riopelle, sculptor Armand Vaillancourt, as well as heavy-hitting painters and sculptors of English speaking Canada, such as Jack Bush, Jock Macdonald, Ron Bloore, Roy Kiyooka, Walter Yarwood, among others. It was an absolute pleasure to see these works find their way out of the museum vaults and into the public domain once more.
Contemporary artist Jinny Yu’s “Don’t They Ever Stop Migrating?” (2015) was a staggering mixed-media installation worth the trip to Kingston on its own. Standing in the centre of the painted fabric structure is an all-consuming experience heightened with layers of audio from Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” (1963).
September 6, 2018
"Do Canada's Art Laws Need to Change?"
To answer this question in a word: Yes. Art writer Leah Sandals of Canadian Art magazine reviews Canada's increasingly contentious art export laws and the many voices involved in the debate, including that of the Cultural Property Export Review Board (CPERB), art dealers, auction houses, museums, appraisers, and art history scholars. Many argue that the original 1977 wording of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act (CPEIA) is outdated and inconsistently implemented. But given the Heritage Ministry's unwillingness to get involved in recent high profile art export controversies, it is more likely that they will close their eyes and pray these issues lose traction than they are to open themselves to criticism by attempts at revising the act. All of us working in this multifarious art world must work against ignorance and neglect of the art laws that determine how Canadians collect, sell, donate, and otherwise engage with art, here and abroad.
"Do Canada's Art Laws Need to Change?" Leah Sandals, Canadian Art http://canadianart.ca/features/do-canadas-art-laws-need-to-change/
August 27, 2018
The U.S. Looks to Canada for Guidance
Canada has recently been receiving high praise for its efforts at reconciliation from arts and culture supporters in the United States. Gabriella Angeleti writes "Canada addresses its monumental problem" for the Art Newspaper, a year on from Charlottesville's violent rally over the planned removal of a statue that "glorifies colonialism and the erasure of the nation's indigenous heritage." The New York Times' Ted Loos celebrates the Art Gallery of Ontario's Rebecca Belmore exhibition, and asks his readers "Will a debate over terminology at the Art Gallery of Ontario help the progress of artists who are underrepresented in United States museums?" Links to articles below.
"Canada Addresses its Momumental Problem," Gabriella Angeleti, The Art Newspaper, https://bit.ly/2MEc9fl
"A Canadian Museum Promotes Indigenous Art, But Don't Call it 'Indian'", Ted Loos, The New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/13/arts/design/art-gallery-of-ontario-indigenous-art.html
June 30, 2018
Company of Ideas, Jeffrey Rubinoff Sculpture Park
This month I participated in a fascinating forum on art from 1900-1950, where I met some incredible and inspiring new colleagues from around the world. My fellow modernists spoke on the work of Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian, Barbara Hepworth, Pierre Bonnard, Dmitry Stelletsky, and other, reminding me that Modern art is, above all, complex, transnational, and full of competing and overlapping systems of knowledge.
May 26, 2018
Back to the Future of Contemporary Art
This afternoon I found myself in the Lansdowne area walking along a curving road, past a sign listing "artsy" studios for rent, towards the imposing new home of MOCA Toronto.
I was undeterred by "MUERTE" graffitied on the side of the building in huge black letters, because I was more excited by the prospect of Toronto finally getting a Museum of Contemporary Art (again). As I turned the corner, I joined a crowd who similarly trekked to the west end to peek inside the still unopened museum on one of the first truly hot days of the season.
Once inside, I was immediately met by a steep concrete stairwell that led to the most Instagram-worthy space in the building, which was mercifully air-conditioned (not-so-coincidentally). It was striking in its expansiveness, complete with concrete columns lining the room like a Roman colonnade. Green volunteers scattered throughout were blitzed with questions ranging from the simple to the strange; all answered graciously.
Elevators to the fifth floor were uncomfortably slow, cramped, and jolted nervously as they ascended. Non-gendered bathrooms were curiously absent from a contemporary art museum claiming a progressive vision of inclusivity and community. From entry to exist, the rooms were beautiful and modern, and, considering the limited wall space, seemed best suited for installation art. I left wondering how the museum will fold into Toronto's diverse art community.
Taking care as I walked back down the narrow concrete steps, I thanked the volunteers who greeted me, only to witness a Mercedes ignorantly colliding nose first into the side of a Ford. A fitting metaphor for my afternoon at MOCA.
January 30, 2018
Richan Art presents WORKS ON PAPER: a curated collection of original artworks on paper, valued between $500 - $5,000. With this launch, I aim to connect a wide range of collectors with high quality fine art at affordable prices.
Richan Art’s core pillars of honesty, transparency, and outstanding service mean that you will know exactly what I offer, understand how I select artworks, and have confidence in my reliability, availability, and personal care for you and your art-collecting goals. Curatorial decisions are informed by a combination of my doctoral education and art market experience.
All available artworks come with artist biographies, condition reports, provenance, and documentation. Trusted experts in framing, packing + shipping, and installation will be at your disposal.
January 1, 2018
Happy New Year!
Watch out for an exciting addition to Richan Art in the coming months!
December 10, 2017
Art Basel Miami Beach
Richan Art had the pleasure of visiting Art Basel Miami Beach, Art Miami, and associated art fairs this year. Attending fairs, speaking with art dealers and collectors, witnessing market trends first-hand, as well as endless art-viewing keep my finger on the market pulse.
November 30, 2017
IN RECOGNITION of Clyfford Still's Birth Day
November 30, 2017 - June 23, 1980
Today marks the birth of Abstract Expressionist artist Clyfford Still! It has been 37 years since his death at age 78.
Still’s life and work has enriched global arts and culture beyond measure.
I have dedicated my graduate research (MA and PhD) to learning more about this artist and sharing my knowledge. Please feel welcome to contact me if you are interested in chatting about Clyfford Still or about American art from 1900-1980 generally.
To get you started, I have linked below the websites to the largest collections of Clyfford Still’s artwork in the US, and to one Canadian institution that also has a painting by him in their permanent collection. You will also find below a select bibliography for your reading pleasure.
I look forward to connecting with you over this incredible artist.
Collection now available via online database! https://collection.clyffordstillmuseum.org/listing
Clyfford Still Museum, Denver, Colorado: https://clyffordstillmuseum.org/clyfford-still/
Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York: https://www.albrightknox.org/person/clyfford-still
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California: https://www.sfmoma.org/artist/Clyfford_Still?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3NrBzo3l1wIVhjqBCh3hvAakEAAYASAAEgL_nvD_BwE
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada - https://www.gallery.ca/collection/search-the-collection?search_api_views_fulltext=clyfford+still&sort_by=search_api_relevance
Anfam, David and Dean Sobel. Clyfford Still: The Artist's Museum. New York: Skira Rizzoli Publications, 2012.
Anfam, David. “Clyfford Still's Art: Between the Quick and the Dead.” In Clyfford Still
Paintings: 1944-1960, edited by James T. Demetrion. New Haven: Yale University Press,
Anfam, David. “Of the Earth, the Damned, and of the Recreated: Aspects of Clyfford Still’s
Earlier Work.” The Burlington Magazine 135, no. 1081 (Apr., 1993): 260-269.
Creighton, Jeff. Indian Summers: Washington State College and the Nespelem Art Colony,
1937-41. Pullman: WSU Press, 2000.
Hemingway, Andrew. “Cultural Democracy by Default: The Politics of the New Deal Arts Programmes.” Oxford Art Journal 30, no. 2
Hess, Thomas B. “The Outsider.” Art News, 68, December 1969.
Hughes, Robert. "Prairie Coriolanus." Time Magazine, February 09, 1976.
Hughes, Robert. “The Tempest in the Paint Pot. ” Time Magazine, November 26, 1979. Hunter, Sam. Masters of the Fifties. New York:
Marisa del Re Gallery, 1985.
Hutchinson, Elizabeth. The Indian Craze: Primitivism, Modernism, and Transculturation in American Art, 1890-1915. Durham: Duke
University Press, 2009.
Kellein, Thomas. Clyfford Still: 1904-1980: The Buffalo and San Francisco Collections. Munich: PrestelVerlag, 1992.
Kennedy, Roger. When Art Worked: The New Deal, Art and Democracy. New York: Rizzoli, 2009.
Kuh, Katharine. Clyfford Still, exhibition catalogue, edited by John P. O’Neill. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1979.
Polcari, Stephen. Abstract Expressionism and the Modern Experience. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Still, Clyfford. “An Open Letter to an Art Critic.” ArtForum, Dec 1963.
Thiele, Leslie Paul. Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of the Soul: A Study of Heroic Individualism. New Jersey: Princeton University Press,
November 26, 2017
FALL AUCTION RECAP
top earning artworks + comments on the 4 biggest auctions of the season
BYDealers Auction House
Post War & Contemporary Art
Monday, November 6, 2017, 7:00 pm
Prices Realized: https://bydealers.com/artworks/la-ferme/
Lot 15, Serge Lemoyne, Le masque, 1975, $240,000.00
Lot 28, Marcelle Ferron, Ronqueralles, 1960, $480,000.00
Lot 41, Jack Bush, Blue Slant, 1967, $600,000.00
BYDealers pulled out all the stops for their first auction, offering artworks of outstanding quality sourced from galleries and private dealers across Canada. The auction was unique among its peers this season for holding their live auction in Montreal instead of Toronto. Previews took place in Toronto at the Intercontinental Hotel to coincide with Art Toronto, and then in Montreal at the stunning Théâtre St. James. The top three best-selling paintings went to smart collectors who recognized their great value and took advantage of the fact that less collectors had their eye on this auction (on account of its location in Montreal, and its early date in the season). The auctioneer set a slow pace early on, but the quality of art was undoubtedly there. The bar has been set high for their May live auction.
Canadian Fine Art
Monday, November 20, 2017, 7:00 pm
Lot 59, Jean Paul Lemieux, Les Enfants de la Paix, $90,000
Lot 103, Cornelius Kreighoff, Above the St Anne Falls, $52,800
This season Waddington’s underperformed compared to their track record. As the oldest auction house in Canada with its roots tracing back to 1850, we can expect them to recover for their May offering in typical Waddington’s fashion. In the same week as their Canadian Fine Art auction, Waddington’s also held their annual live auction for Inuit art (Tuesday) and on Monday, November 27th they will have their Concrete Contemporary art auction. Lot 15, a work on paper by William Perehudoff (estimate $2,500-3,500) was withdrawn, and Lot 41, a canvas by Joseph Drapell was also withdrawn from their contemporary art sale.
Heffel Fine Art
Post-War & Contemporary Art, 4:00 pm
Fine Canadian Art, 7:00 pm
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Prices Realized: http://www.heffel.com/auction/Results_E.aspx?ID=259
Lot 20, Jack Bush, Winged Totem, $601,250.00
Lot 53, Jack Shadbolt, Woodwards Tower, $109,250.00
Lot 118, Lawren Harris, Mountains East of Maligne Lake, $3,001,250.00
Lot 121, Lawren Harris, Morin Island, Eclipse Sound, North Baffin Island, Arctic Painting XXXVI, $1,261,250.03
Heffel had an impressive auction this season with three large canvases by Jack Bush and a number of Lawren Harris paintings and sketches. One small painting by Jean-Philippe Dallaire was withdrawn in the weeks leading up to the auction. Of the three large Bush paintings, the best one reassuringly sold for the best price. Lot 118, Mountains East of Maligne Lake, sold for over $3 million (including buyer’s premium), however, expectations were set higher than it ultimately achieved. Nervous energy filled the room and auctioneer Robert Heffel shared giddily that he was wearing his lucky Lawren Harris socks purchased from the Art Gallery of Ontario before the bidding began. However, when the lot opened there was an uncomfortable lack of activity. It stalled at 2 million for just a little too long, but seemed to recover by hitting the low end of the estimate and quickly selling. Shortly after this lot came a sketch by the same artist, lot 121, which generated a bidding war and ultimately fetched a surprisingly high price. This set the tone for Consignor’s Lawren Harris sketch (Lot 33) the next day, which dramatically exceeded its $20,000-$30,000 estimate by pulling in over $100,000.
Consignor Canadian Fine Art
Important Canadian Art
November 23, 2017, 7:00 pm
Prices Realized: http://www.consignor.ca/items
Lot 25, Michael Snow, Off Minor, $57,500.00
Lot 33, Lawren Harris, Lake Superior (I.D. 463), $161,000.00 (Estimate $20,000-30,000)
Lot 54, Emily Carr, European Street Scene, $276,000.00
Consignor’s fall auction started at 7:00pm sharp with Rob Cowley’s expert auctioneering. His humour and pace are unparalleled in the Canadian auction industry and makes the last auction of the week notably enjoyable. With 126 lots, their sale offered a large variety of artwork for a range of price points that could make any level of collector comfortable. Waddington’s offered a comparable number of artworks at 127 lots, making it as large as feasibly comfortable without breaking it up into two categories, as Heffel does. The best selling artwork of the night was European Street Scene, by Emily Carr, which easily soared passed its estimate. This was the only auction in which a female artist shone as the highest earner.
August 3, 2017
Blog Series 1: How to Build an Art Collection
part 3 - Where Should I Buy Art?
Now that you have a sense of what kind of art you would like to acquire you will need to decide where you will find it.
The answer to this question is, in some ways, best understood as made of two components. Firstly is the type of art business and secondly is the individual art professionals you feel most comfortable engaging.The art businesses most common to new art collectors include auction houses, art galleries, artist studios, private dealers, and art consulting agencies. The type of professionals within these businesses include auctioneers, art specialists, gallerists, art dealers, gallery attendants, artists, art consultants/advisors, principals, managing directors, technicians, and a whole host of other people involved in providing you with the best art collecting experience possible.
Online art collecting has also grown significantly over the past five or so years and adds a whole new dimension to the collecting process. While artists have been taking advantage of this virtual channel for many more years, galleries and auction houses have been catching on with success. While this approach has generally facilitated a smoother process for collectors from the comfort of their home or office, it is also a bit of a double edged sword. A painting you spoke about to an art dealer the day before may be gone the next day due to a quick online purchase from a collector the dealer did not previously know was interested. This element of the unknown can be an added pressure to rush your decision, presenting an obstacle that was never before present in the history of art collecting.
Every avenue has its benefits and downsides and every single business within these categories is unique. Your decision to invest in one or more of these avenues for building your art collection may depend highly on the relationships you build with individuals within each of these categories.
Ultimately, you must feel comfortable and confident with the art professionals who facilitate your art collecting journey. You may wish to consider their client references, their formal art education, how much time they can dedicate to you and your specific needs, how and what they charge for their services, the exposure they have had to various facets of the art industry, and their ongoing involvement in the art community. Initiating basic conversations can sometimes be the easiest way to get started. Introduce yourself and don’t be shy about sharing your current interest and knowledge levels. That very first conversation with them can tell your gut a lot!
July 27, 2017
Blog Series 1: How to Build an Art Collection
Part 2 - What Kind of Art Should You Consider?
You know you want to start an art collection or buy a few artworks, but what is the next step?
(For a review of the top five things to consider when you begin art collecting, read Part 1, below.)
Not all collections require strategizing, but it helps to consider whether you would like to build a collection of emerging artists or artists who regularly trade at auction and through galleries. Often, there is a price overlap, so you need to weigh the pros and cons of spending X on a small work-on-paper by a well known artist, or spending the same amount on a larger oil on canvas by a contemporary artist. It is not always clear what the better buy is, especially when you love them both. Be smart about your decisions and never buy something because you feel pressured or rushed. The learning curve is exciting and challenging, and one you may wish to investigate over time with a partner or art professional as a sounding board.
Below, you will find five broad categories of art that you may consider when starting an art collection.
I - Paintings
Examples: Oil, acrylic, watercolour, mixed media, encaustic
on canvas, masonite or wood board
This is the traditional go-to medium for art collectors. It is well established within the Western art-historical canon as providing decoration, status and readability. In other words, we generally understand what paintings are about and are therefore able to easily get an enjoyable aesthetic experience that we can share with our friends and colleagues.
II - Works on paper
Examples: watercolour, graphite, pastel, ink
Works on paper can be a category of its own, but some artwork here can also fall into the paintings or prints categories. When I think of works on paper, however, I tend to think of the work by well-known historical painters who occasionally moved their brush from the canvas to a sketching pad or other paper to work out their idea. These artworks can be very rewarding for the collector because they allow access to some of the hard-to-reach artists and give us insight into a mysterious and lost creative process. Of course, works on paper can also be produced by contemporary artists and completed artworks in their own right - the ethereality of these pieces is exciting, and in these cases I like to make sure I understand the artist’s intention for the artwork’s lifespan.
III - Prints
Examples: Lithographs, serigraphs, etchings, single autographic prints, monotypes.
Prints are distinct from posters, but their value and quality can vary significantly depending on the size of the print run, the originality of the image, the printing house and the artist. Canadian artist Harold Town invented his own type of print, called “single autographic prints” which further complicates the very broad category of “print.” Prints tend to be the most confusing art purchase for new collectors, but can be an excellent way to start your collection given its relative affordability.
IV - Sculpture
Examples: Wall sculpture, small for the table, installation, free standing
Sculpture has the capacity to be one of the most stimulating art forms. It is an immersive art experience in ways that two-dimensional art simply cannot be by nature of its medium. During the Renaissance, sculptors were considered the most important artists and sculpture to be the highest art form, above painting. The hierarchy of art, as it is commonly referred to now, has shifted partly in response to the prominence of the Abstract Expressionist painters in New York during the 1950s and ‘60s. Sculpture, however, remains one of the most rewarding forms of art and several of the “AbEx” artists, such as Clyfford Still experimented in this medium as well. Naturally, it can be a bit trickier to find a spot for sculpture in your home or office, but it is well worth making the time and space for it.
V - Utilitarian
Examples: Design objects - tables, chairs, light fixtures, dishware, etc.
Modern design has become very popular on a global scale since 1900, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, opened its Architecture and Design department in 1932.
Artists such as Canadian Joe Fafard is best known for sculptures of farm animals, but he has also created stunning modern glass tables with intricate sculptural scenes under the glass surface. These are the types of artworks that can be considered utilitarian, and serve the dual purpose of providing an artistic experience and being a functional part of your life. Utilitarian art is appreciated by those who want a home or office that immerses them in their love of art, or by those with little wall space left for art, among others.
July 20, 2017
Blog Series 1: How to Build an Art Collection
Part 1: 5 Key Steps to Consider When Starting to Build an Art Collection:
1 – Determine your goals.
Why do you want to collect? To pursue a passion outside of your regular career; to impress clients, colleagues or friends; to invest your money outside the stock market; as a philanthropic endeavour to support young or local artists; why else? If the art collection is for the home, be sure to include your partner and have an open and ongoing dialogue. If the collection is under consideration for the office or a corporate project, be sure to involve the appropriate team members and professional art consultants early on in the process. This will help avoid any confusion later down the road.
2 – Determine your budget.
Once you recognize the motivations behind your interest in art collecting, you can begin to understand a budget that may be required to achieve these goals. Remember that expenses beyond the actual art purchase may be required depending on whether you buy at an auction house, art gallery, a private art dealer, or directly from an artist. These expenses should be considered part of the overall budget for your collection, and may include framing, installation, art conservation, valuations and appraisals, art market and provenance research, and wrapping/shipping services.
3 – Look, Listen, Linger.
Look at art. A lot of it. As often as you can. Start up conversations about art with others and listen to their perspective. You may not always agree, but it is always interesting to hear why they love a particular artist, art movement, or museum exhibit. Based on these early conversations you will begin to understand what kinds of artwork you do and do not like. Don’t forget that one of the joys of art collecting is the process, so don’t rush your next trip to the art fair. Linger at the artworks that catch your eye, question its appeal, and know that it is okay to sleep on major purchases when you are serious about them.
4 – Know your limits.
Are you learning about art for the first time? Perhaps you are familiar with what you like, but are less comfortable navigating the art market? Maybe your budget and your goals are not quite as aligned as you would like? Not sure how to get your partner on board with your new interest in art? You could take an art history class, visit museums, art galleries and auctions, meet as many art professionals in your area as possible, or read about artists of interest and the art market. Collecting Art for Love, Money and More (by Ethan Wagner and Thea Westreich Wagner) is a great place to start, and Fine Art and High Finance (edited by Clare McAndrew) is another foundational read.
5 – Ask for help.
Be patient. Take your time. Refer to websites such as the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) to learn more and discover art consultants in your area. Ask consultants for client testimonials. Good consultants are reliable, respectful of your time and are happy to provide complementary initial consultations.
June 21, 2017
I will be soon be starting a blog series where I answer frequently asked questions about how to build an art collection. This will be the first five-part themed series, posted every Thursday. Email me at email@example.com, or direct message me on Instagram @emmarichan to have your art related questions featured!
May 20, 2017
The Canadian spring auctions begin next week! and I am happy to announce the completion of my PhD course work earlier this year and my return to Toronto for the busy auction season.
I recently had the pleasure of completing a project for an esteemed corporate client. References available upon inquiry.
January 19, 2017
Emma has kicked off January with a curatorial project called "Invented Spaces," an exhibition of contemporary Canadian artists from across Canada working with the concept of space and how this relates to the Canadian experience. This was a fitting show for the first month of Canada's 150th year anniversary. There are many wonderful exhibitions lined up this year to celebrate and reflect on Canada's history, be sure to check as many out as possible!
The new year also marked the beginning of a research project for Emma at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. This project was undertaken as part of the collections review process in preparation for the museum's expansion.
Also this month, Emma is preparing a talk on the art market for the University of Victoria. More to come on this.
December 6, 2016
In Emma's first term as a PhD student at the University of Victoria, she was honoured with the Robert S. and Muriel A. Raguin Graduate Scholarship at the nomination of the Faculty of Fine Arts.
My current research questions:
1) How did Clyfford Still’s first-hand experience with Indigenous peoples on the Colville Reservation influence his painting during the late 1930s and 1940s?
2) Did his political and philosophical outlook (Still was a follower of Frederick Nietzsche and an anarchist) shape his understanding of the social, political and economic conditions of Indigenous peoples?
3) Can we differentiate between the early Abstract Expressionist work of Still and that of Barnett Newman through the lens of their respective understandings of Indigenous cultures?
Check back in January 2017 to hear about an exciting project with the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria!
July 26, 2016
Emma has been invited to the University of Victoria in British Columbia to pursue her PhD in art history commencing September 2016. Her doctoral research will be a continuation of her Master's work on Clyfford Still's art and life circa 1930s. Emma has been awarded full funding for her research and will be traveling more actively throughout North America to meet the needs of her growing clientele. She is currently accepting new clients. Please contact her directly for more information.
June 30, 2016
Emma has completed The International Society of Appraisers' Core Course in Appraisal Studies.
The International Society of Appraisers (ISA) is the largest of the professional personal property appraisal associations representing the most highly trained and rigorously tested independent appraisers in the United States and Canada. They are a not-for-profit, member-driven association, formed to support member needs and to enhance public trust by producing qualified and ethical appraisers who are recognized authorities in personal property appraising.
For more information on the ISA, please visit https://www.isa-appraisers.org/about.